Speed Reads

The Badger State

Gov. Scott Walker re-elected in Wisconsin

Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) has won re-election, a major victory for a national Republican star, and a blow to long-running efforts by Democrats to get him out office.

ABC News and Fox News both project Walker as the winner, over Democratic businesswoman Mary Burke. With 27 percent of the vote reporting, Walker leads by 61 percent to 38 percent. The margin is likely to narrow somewhat, as more liberal areas of the state often report in later, but probably not by much — the current adjustments on the exit poll data suggest that Walker could potentially end the night with 57 percent of the vote.

Walker and Burke ran neck and neck for much of this race, in a sharply polarized state. However, late polling showed a surge in momentum for Walker, as Republican voters became more energized.

Elected in 2010, Walker shot to national fame with legislation that sharply rolled back collective bargaining for public employee unions, triggering large protests at the state Capitol.

Democrats even mounted a statewide recall campaign against Walker, which Walker then won in June of 2012 with 53 percent of the vote. It was only the third gubernatorial recall election in U.S. history, and Walker was the first incumbent governor ever to win one.